The Port Arthur Massacre of 28th April 1996, was a killing spree by Martin Bryant at the historic Port Arthur, in eastern Tasmania, Australia. This event saw the implementation of law reform for gun control in both federal and state jurisdictions to remedy justice to future criminals. The media’s attention influenced change for future justice, establishment of political parties and charities led to support for victims of crime as well as ensuring the protecting of constitutional rights.
Prior to the Port Arthur Massacre, Australia had very lenient gun laws. The massacre of 35 people with an additional 23 wounded, pushed the then Prime Minister, John Howard, to reform the legislation associated with guns. Since then, firearm related deaths have declined by 47% . However, these statistics do not include illegally owned firearms, and there have been studies conducted showing that these laws have not made a difference.
For example, the University of Sydney found that Australia owns as many guns now as we did during the time of the Port Arthur Massacre, even though, due to amnesties and buybacks, there has been more than 1 million weapons destroyed since 1996 . Although, as Greg Cary, reporter at 4BC, stated the: “Buyback and amnesty were about getting rid of the kinds of weapons that were used at Port Arthur” . Nevertheless, the legislation was created so the community would feel safe. For example, the Government Buy-Back scheme, during 1996, was a compulsory surrender of